Broadcast shake-up for Celtic as media company announces 'significant' rights acquisition

By John McGinley

July 21, 2022

Nordic streaming company Viaplay has announced its intention to acquire Premier Sports and all their related UK broadcast rights ahead of a launch in this country later this year.

That means, pending regulatory approval, Viaplay will own the rights to the Scottish Cup and Scottish League Cup moving forward, both of which will be expected to feature Celtic heavily.

We discussed this possibility on 67 Hail Hail last week after reports suggested discussions were taking place between the two parties. It has now been confirmed.

Photo by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Viaplay said in a statement today: “Viaplay Group has agreed to acquire UK sports streamer and TV channel operator Premier Sports. This marks a significant acceleration of Viaplay Group’s ambitions in the UK, ahead of the launch of the Viaplay streaming service in the country this autumn.

“Premier Sports’ portfolio of attractive sports rights complements the rights that Viaplay has previously secured for the UK, and its platforms are available across the UK through long-term distribution agreements with Sky, Virgin, Amazon and Netgem TV.

“In addition to content and distribution, the acquisition will also deliver synergies with Viaplay in sports production, while boosting Viaplay’s local brand awareness amongst viewers.”

The company says all Premier Sports platforms will receive Viaplay branding and will continue to be available through existing distribution partners.

It’s currently unclear whether the ‘Premier Sports Cup’, the current title of the Scottish League Cup will receive a new name.

It’s also unclear whether there will be any changes to pricing or subscription tiers.

Scottish Premiership matches will be unaffected, with Sky Sports holding exclusive rights on those fixtures until 2025.

Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images

However, the streaming company, who have a market value of around $1.7 billion [Bloomberg], could theoretically be a competitor for the post-2025 Premiership contract, increasing the value of any deal and offering the league more options.

Clearly, they are intent on rapidly expanding into the UK market and now hold rights to the UEFA national team football, La Liga, NHL, Rugby League, as well as several other sports.

It’s a situation to watch very closely!

In other news, Multiple Celtic Park changes on the way; new matchday area.